Today, as Azerbaijani forces intensified their operations along the front line in Artsakh, including targeting a hospital in Artsakh’s northeast and a drone strike on the territory of the Republic of Armenia, President of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia addressed the nation. Now in its eighteenth day, the Artsakh War is turning into a battle for the survival of Armenians on what is left of their historic homelands.
With the Russian-brokered humanitarian ceasefire in tatters, Artsakh President Harutyunyan said: “We understand that the only way to force a ceasefire is to impose that ceasefire. We are ready to fulfill our responsibility for the humanitarian ceasefire without any preconditions and later continue negotiations for the peaceful settlement of the conflict.” He noted that while a peaceful settlement appears impossible, it is not late. Harutyunyan said that Azerbaijan has chosen not to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, “instead it has chosen to exterminate the Armenians of Artsakh and after its successful execution, destroy Armenia.”
A few hours later, Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan spoke to the Armenian people in a live address. He said that the war against Artsakh was not unexpected, however, the nature of the conflict has dramatically shifted with regional and extra-regional powers now involved. He said that the soldiers of Artsakh’s Defense Army are waging a heroic battle against the Turkish-Azerbaijani-terrorist-mercenary alliance. Pashinyan acknowledged that the number of casualties is very high: “I mourn for our brave martyrs who fell defending the Homeland, protecting our people’s right to live, safeguarding the Armenian identity, dignity and Armenia’s future. And I bow to all our victims, martyrs, their families, their parents and especially their mothers, and I consider their loss my loss, my personal loss, the loss of my family.”
In an interview with Russian media, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed the need for a ceasefire verification mechanism in Nagorno-Karabakh and that the deployment of military observers in the conflict zone should be part of that verification mechanism. “We believe it would be absolutely right if they were our observers, but it is up to the parties to make a final decision,” he said.
Meanwhile, addressing Turkey’s parliament today, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the OSCE Minsk Group should take steps to have occupied territories returned to Azerbaijan. He noted that the Minsk Group Co-Chair countries have avoided a resolution using delay tactics: “If there is human rights, democracy in the world, and you [US, Russia and France] have been in the Minsk trio for 30 years, what should you do? [You should] not delay, but rather finalize the negotiations as soon as possible and give these lands to their owners.”
Here is a chronology of official updates.
9:25 a.m.: The Artsakh Defense Army said that the situation in the Artsakh-Azerbaijani conflict zone remained relatively stable but tense overnight. Artillery continued to be used with varying intensity.
Early this morning, violating the humanitarian ceasefire, Azerbaijani forces resumed missile and artillery shelling in the southern, northern, southeastern and northeastern directions. Shelling was especially intense in the southeastern, northern and northeastern directions.
The Artsakh Defense Army is taking adequate actions in all directions of the front line to halt the offensive of the adversary and continues to the borders of the homeland.
Azerbaijani Forces Target Military Installation in Armenia
10:35 a.m.: The following is a statement by the Defense Ministry of Armenia:
On October 14, Azerbaijani Armed Forces targeted military equipment on the territory of the Republic of Armenia that was near the border area with Karvachar (that was on combat duty) assuming that the equipment was ready to strike civilian settlements in Azerbaijan.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry said that this cannot be substantiated by Azerbaijan. “In fact, the military-political leadership of that country allows itself to target military equipment in the territory of the Republic of Armenia carrying out normal combat duty, only based on assumptions,” the statement read.
“We reaffirm that thus far no rocket, shell or bullet has been fired from the territory of the Republic of Armenia in the direction of Azerbaijan but at the same time we declare that from now on the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia give themselves the right to target any military facility or military movement in the territory of Azerbaijan with the same logic.” The statement went on to say that the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan bears full responsibility for changing the combat zone and logic of military operations.
No casualties have been reported.
12:27 p.m.: The Artsakh Defense Army announced that Azerbaijan continues to violate the humanitarian ceasefire by targeting peaceful settlements and villages. The city of Martakert was not only shelled earlier, but came under fire by Azerbaijan’s Air Force. The Artsakh Defense Army units are taking adequate measures to silence the adversary.
Artsakh President: Azerbaijan Has Chosen to Exterminate the Armenians of Artsakh and Then Destroy Armenia
12:50 p.m.: Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan Addresses Armenian Nation [unofficial translation],
Dear compatriots, sisters and brothers living in the Diaspora and in mother Armenia,
The large-scale war that was unleashed by Azerbaijan, Turkey and international terrorists on September 27 against Artsakh and Armenia continues. The Artsakh Defense Army continues resisting the adversary with heroism and counteroffensives, causing them significant human and material losses. Our compatriots that have arrived from Armenia and the Diaspora have displayed such courage during the battles. I want to specifically mention the participation of our comrades-in-arms who have extensive military experience and have had their contribution in the defense of our homeland, including also the participation of our heroic contract soldiers.
We are witnessing the active efforts by Russia and the international community to halt the military operations. We highly appreciate that mission. And you also know that there was a three-party meeting in Moscow [Foreign Affairs Ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia] by the invitation of the President of Russia. An announcement was made to establish, at least, a humanitarian ceasefire and to restart the negotiations at a later date.
But what has taken place?
The adversary did the opposite. Taking advantage of the situation, and starting the day after that announcement, launched even stronger military operations along the entire length of the front line, especially in the south. The adversary managed to dig itself in at a number of areas, secure the upper hand in other sections and day-by-day move the frontline deeper [inside Artsakh territory]. We understand that the only way to force a ceasefire is to impose that ceasefire. We are ready to fulfill our responsibility for the humanitarian ceasefire without any preconditions and later continue the negotiations for the peaceful settlement of the conflict. Although, now, a peaceful settlement is impossible, it is not late. I want to mention once again that the adversary has chosen that path. It has not chosen the path of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict; instead it has chosen to exterminate the Armenians of Artsakh and after its successful execution, destroy Armenia. We see that policy especially by the parties that have their interests. We have had worse days between 1992 to 1994 when military operations were taking place in the surrounding area of Gandzasar, Askeran, Martuni, Hadrut, etc. We managed to win because we believed in the victory. Today, we again believe, we believe that we will win, we need to be united and most importantly participate in military operations. I expect the active participation of my brothers, Artsakhtsis living in the Diaspora, our brothers in Armenia. The critical moment is now. It is about the preservation of our homeland, about living with honor. We should continue living with honor.
Lavrov On the Deployment of Military Observers
1 p.m.: In an interview with Russian media, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed the need for a ceasefire verification mechanism in Nagorno-Karabakh. According to Lavrov, the deployment of military observers in the conflict zone, should be part of that verification mechanism. “We believe it would be absolutely right if they were our observers, but it is up to the parties to make a final decision,” he said.
Lavrov also noted that Russia disagrees with Turkey and Azerbaijan that there is a military solution to the conflict. “We disagree with the position which has been voiced by Turkey and which has also been expressed by Azerbaijan’s president several times. There is no secret here, we cannot agree with the statements to the effect that a military solution to the conflict is possible and admissible.”
He claimed that a peaceful solution is still possible and that it should be based on peace proposals that have long been made by the Russian, U.S. and French mediators co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group. “Their essence is known: a phased liberation of districts around Karabakh while observing security guarantees for Karabakh and ensuring a reliable link between Armenia and Karabakh until determining the final status of Karabakh,” he said.
PM Nikol Pashinyan: Will the World Allow the Emergence of a New Hitler in Asia Minor?
2 p.m.: Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addressed the nation on the military and political situation.
Dear people, proud citizens of the Republic of Armenia, proud citizens of the Artsakh Republic, proud diasporan Armenians,
The terrorist war unleashed by Turkey and Azerbaijan against Artsakh has been going on for 18 days now. Before referring to the situation on the battlefield, I consider it crucial to emphasize that today we need to understand the military-political situation, but we first must understand the reasons and conditions behind the war.
In the process of negotiations over the Karabakh issue, step by step Azerbaijan reached a point where it insisted that the Armenians of Karabakh should renounce their rights. Their demand consisted of the following: Immediately hand over five out of seven territories to Azerbaijan, develop a clear-cut timetable for handing over the remaining two territories and state that any status of Nagorno-Karabakh implied being part of Azerbaijan.
Moreover, the status of Nagorno-Karabakh should not be associated with the transfer of territories. In other words, territories should be handed over not for status but for peace, otherwise Azerbaijan threatened to resolve the issue through war.
Our government, which had inherited the current framework of negotiations, refused to discuss the issue in this way because it was unacceptable. Under these circumstances, as we tried to state clearly that the settlement of the issue without defining the status of Artsakh was impossible, Azerbaijan gave up any serious discussion on the status, stating in fact that the only status that Artsakh could have was autonomy within Azerbaijan, which in fact was meant to build up an institutional framework that would pave the way for ethnic cleansing in Artsakh. At the same time, Azerbaijan was developing military rhetoric and anti-Armenian propaganda.
Over the past two and a half years, we implemented reforms to upgrade our army in a bid to provide real preconditions for the premise that “the Karabakh issue has no military solution.” The victorious battles waged in Tavush in July 2020 came to demonstrate a reality, which was unexpected for many, namely that the Azerbaijani army is actually unable to resolve the Karabakh issue through military means. This fact was shocking not only for Azerbaijan, but also for other countries, especially for Turkey.
Unprecedented Turkish-Azerbaijani military exercises were launched shortly after the July battles; a large number of Turkish troops and military equipment were transferred to Azerbaijan. The exercises once again testified that Azerbaijan’s armed forces were unable to fulfill specific tasks in the foreseeable future, and Turkey decided that it was up to them to deal with the Karabakh issue.
Something unprecedented happened at that point: Turkey started to openly and publicly threaten Armenia, with a large number of terrorists and mercenaries being transported from Syria to the Karabakh conflict zone, realizing that the Azerbaijani forces could not tackle the problem on their own.
In this situation, we tried to implement strategic containment mechanisms, considering that if Turkey achieved its goals in the South Caucasus, it would inevitably lead to a chain reaction of events, involving regional and extra-regional stakeholders, which could result in specific restraining measures.
At this stage, however, we recorded a strange circumstance: a number of countries, capable of taking strategic deterrence measures, failed to properly assess the threat. They continued to view the issue in the context of the Karabakh conflict, considering that the “territories for peace” formula could save the situation. This unacceptable formula is similar to the 1938 Munich Agreement, when the European powers essentially surrendered Czechoslovakia to Germany for the sake of peace. We all know what happened next. Now the question is whether the world will allow the emergence of a new Hitler in Asia Minor.
The war against Artsakh did not come as something unexpected for us. We were prepared and only wondered when and from where the enemy was going to attack.
The Artsakh Defense Army has been waging a heroic battle since the outbreak of the hostilities. The Turkey-Azerbaijan-terrorist-mercenary military alliance launched the strongest-ever attack on Artsakh: tanks, armored vehicles, missiles, artillery, military planes, helicopters, drones, a huge number of combatants, including several thousand special troops from Turkey and reportedly from Pakistan, as well as mercenaries and terrorists from Syria.
The adversary did not record any strategic or territorial gains during the first week, when it faced no supply and manpower restrictions whatsoever, while Artsakh and Armenia were operating in the midst of a standing blockade. During this time, the adversary lost a huge amount of military hardware, suffered a large number of casualties, including mercenaries.
Each drop of Armenian blood hurts us all, not to mention the enormous number of victims we already have at the moment. In order to prevent further losses, we joined the process launched and the statement adopted in Moscow last Friday, which provided for a humanitarian ceasefire, full exchange of corpses, prisoners and detainees, return to the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing format with the logic of resolving the issue as soon as possible. However, Azerbaijan did not adhere to the ceasefire agreement for a second and carried on the attacks, simultaneously hindering the establishment of a ceasefire monitoring mechanism.
This means that Azerbaijan continues to adhere to the policy line adopted originally and has set itself the task of full occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh. At this point, however, we can record the following fact: the Turkish-Azerbaijani terrorist plan to occupy Nagorno-Karabakh and the adjacent territories with a blitzkrieg has failed owing to the joint efforts of our army of heroic generals, officers, non-commissioned officers, sergeants, volunteers, soldiers, our public administration system – the leaders of Artsakh and Armenia, the governments, the national assemblies, local self-government and state agencies.
We have suffered numerous casualties. I mourn for our brave martyrs who fell defending the Homeland, protecting our people’s right to live, safeguarding the Armenian identity, dignity and Armenia’s future. And I bow to all our victims, martyrs, their families, their parents and especially their mothers, and I consider their loss my loss, my personal loss, the loss of my family.
Dear people, proud citizens of the Republic of Armenia, proud citizens of the Artsakh Republic, proud diasporan Armenians,
During the past 18 days of the war, our heroic troops retreated to the north and south. In recent days, the adversary changed its tactics trying to start confusion in the rear with subversive groups. Nevertheless, at the cost of heavy fighting, losses of manpower and equipment, the Artsakh Defense Army keeps the situation under control, inflicting numerous losses of manpower and equipment on the enemy.
But we all need to know that we are facing a difficult situation. This is not a statement of despair or desperation. I provide this information because I am committed to tell our people the truth, unlike Azerbaijan, which conceals its thousands of casualties from its own people and, according to our estimates, the loss of more than USD 1 billion in military equipment. But the main purpose of my message today is to talk about what we have to do and our strategy, as well as to rally our national unity around that goal. Therefore, it is necessary to state that the Turkish-Azerbaijani-terrorist alliance will not stop its attack on Artsakh and Armenia.
These days, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs - Russia, France and the United States - have endeavored and continue to work for a ceasefire. The statement of the presidents and foreign ministers of the three countries and the October 10 statement of Moscow were adopted.
I would like to thank the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs for their efforts. I am grateful to the United States Administration for all the efforts that have been made so far.
I wish to thank France and President Emmanuel Macron for his determination to name things from the very first days of the war and for his willingness to make further efforts.
Special thanks to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, with whom we have been in close contact during all this time. Russia has been able to fulfill its role of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair and Armenia’s strategic ally at a high level, and I am convinced that Russia will implement this role unequivocally in accordance with the best traditions of friendship between the Armenian and Russian peoples.
Committed to the logic of a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, I would like to emphasize that we will be highly constructive in making our diplomatic efforts effective.
However, these efforts have so far not been enough to curb the Turkish-Azerbaijani-terrorist bloc, because the task that they have set is not only to resolve the Karabakh issue, but also to continue the traditional Turkish genocidal policy toward our people.
But at this crucial moment we will not back down, because this is a crucial war for our people. In this situation, the Armenian people have only one thing to do: unite, mobilize all the potential we have, halt the enemy with a decisive blow and achieve a final victory, that is, the final settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the recognition of the right of the Nagorno-Karabakh people to self-determination.
The souls, spirit and strength of our other great martyrs and heroes, King Artashes, Tigran the Great, Ashot Yerkat, Aram Manukyan, Hovhannes Baghramyan, Monte Melkonyan, Vazgen Sargsyan, are with us today. Today, the Armenians are united more than ever. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians are providing financial, economic and political support to Armenia and Artsakh.
In hundreds of diasporan communities, our compatriots are holding peaceful rallies of solidarity, protest and support, with two specific issues on the agenda: international recognition of Artsakh’s independence and condemnation of the Turkish-Azerbaijani-terrorist aggression.
This is the culmination of our national unity, and this culmination must be crowned with the realization of our specific national goals.
No one can break the will of the Armenian people, it is impossible to intimidate the Armenian nation, it is impossible to defeat the Armenian people. We will stand up to the last, we will fight to the last, and the name of that end is Free and Happy Artsakh, Free and Happy Armenia.
Today, at this crucial moment, each and every one of us must focus on achieving this goal. This is what we should be focused on both in the Diaspora and in Armenia. We must turn our mourning into anger, our fears into determination, our doubts into action.
We must win, we must live, we must build our history, and we are building our history, our new epic, our new heroic battle, our new Sardarapat.
Long live Freedom!
Long live the Republic of Armenia!
Long live the Artsakh Republic!
Long live the Armenian Army!
Long live the Armenian volunteers!
Long live the Armenian Diaspora!
Long live the Armenian people!
And long live our children who will live in a free and happy Armenia, in a free and happy Artsakh.
Glory to the heroes!
Turkish President: OSCE Should Ensure “Occupied” Territories Return to Azerbaijan
2 p.m.: Addressing Turkey’s parliament today, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the OSCE Minsk Group should take steps to have occupied territories returned to Azerbaijan.
“The Minsk Trio [of the OSCE] - the US, Russia and France - still avoid this [resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh issue] via delaying tactics. Why won’t you give the occupied lands back [to Azerbaijan]? They can do whatever they want in their own lands, but there is an occupation here. If there is human rights, democracy in the world, and you [US, Russia and France] have been in the Minsk trio for 30 years, what should you do? [You should] not delay, but rather finalize the negotiations as soon as possible and give these lands to their owners.”
Peskov: Some CSTO Mechanisms Might Come Into Place
2:50 p.m.: The Russian military is participating in the process of verifying the information regarding Azerbaijan's attack on the territory of the Republic of Armenia, according to Dmitry Peskov, the spokesperson of the President of Russia.
“Our military department is checking the information, they are constantly in touch with their counterparts in both countries. You know that the Minister of Defense had telephone conversations with his colleagues from both countries. This information is being checked and analyzed,” Peskov said adding that, depending on the results of that investigation, some CSTO mechanisms might come into force.
Armenia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry on Azerbaijan Targeting Armenian Territory
3:00 p.m.: The following is a statement issued by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Armenia on the targeting of the territory of the Republic of Armenia by the Azerbaijani armed forces.
The Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia issued a statement informing that, on October 14, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces targeted military installations and equipment on duty within the territory of the Republic of Armenia, in the Vardenis region, based only on groundless assumptions that the equipment was "ready to strike at peaceful settlements in Azerbaijan."
It is obvious that Azerbaijan is not only refusing to implement the ceasefire which should have been established on the basis of joint statement of the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, agreed on October 10 at the initiative of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, but also with blatant instigation of Turkey, seeks to expand the geography of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, by attacking and resorting to open aggression against the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia.
All the actions undertaken by the Azerbaijani side will receive an adequate response with the means at the disposal of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia.
We strongly condemn Azerbaijan’s attempts at armed aggression against the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia and warn that Azerbaijan’s provocative actions will lead to irreversible military-political consequences, for which the leadership of Azerbaijan bears full responsibility.
3:30 p.m.: Artsrun Hovhannisyan of the Ministry of Defense said that during the 1991-1994 Artsakh War, which lasted about 1000 days, the Armenian side went through heavy and even hopeless periods. The Armenian side had moments of panic but eventually managed to win and reach the May 1994 ceasefire agreement, which gave a strong base to the Armenian diplomacy in the negotiation process. In the fall of 1992, Armenia almost lost Lachin and not only Lachin but resisted and won.
Azerbaijani Forces Target Hospital in Artsakh
4:53 p.m.: Shushan Stepanyan, the Defense Ministry spokesperson, said that the Azerbaijani side continues violating the humanitarian ceasefire and now has targeted a hospital located in the northeastern direction of the front line, currently treating civilians. As she noted, such behavior is in strict violation of the norms and principles of international humanitarian law and customary law, according to which it is forbidden to target hospitals and places where wounded are being treated. “This is an obvious war crime and the entire responsibility for the consequences falls on the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan,” she said.
5:05 p.m.: Arman Tatoyan, Armenia’s Ombudsman, strongly condemned the drone strikes launched by the Azerbaijani forces near Vardenis, in the village of Sotk, in the Gegharkunik region of Armenia.
He said that a 14-year-old child was wounded, who is now in a Yerevan hospital. He is in serious condition with shrapnel wounds and is currently in the resuscitation unit/ICU. Other civilians, including children were also in the agricultural field.
The head of the local community confirmed the information to Tatoyan. He sent a special mission to the hospital.
Putin Holds Phone Conversation With Turkish President
7:40 p.m.: Russian President Vladimir Putin had a phone conversion with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two discussed the situation in Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone and stressed the importance of complying with the October 10 humanitarian ceasefire agreement and resuming the negotiations within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
Putin expressed serious concerns about the involvement of mercenaries from the Middle East in the military operations. He stressed the need for the peaceful settlement of the conflict and that Turkey as a member of the OSCE Minsk Group should play a constructive role in de-escalating the conflict.
8:40 p.m.: Artsakh’s Ombudsman Artak Beglaryan:
#BREAKING!#Azerbaijan today continued targeting civilian population shelling some settlements of Martakert, Martuni and Hadrut regions.— Artak Beglaryan (@Artak_Beglaryan) October 14, 2020
Electricity master Nver Grigoryan was killed in #Martakert town by Az indiscriminate shelling while doing his job duties.
Overall 32 deaths.
9:45: The Defense Ministry of Artsakh released the names of another 23 servicemen killed in battle.
Shahinyan, Tigran [Karleni], b. 1968 (volunteer)
Arakelyan, Samvel [Levoni], b. 2001
Teroyan, Pargev [Kareni], b. 1998
Adamyan, Emil [Hakobi], b. 2001
Simikyan, Artur [Mikayeli], b. 2001
Tagvoryan, Grigor [Vahei], b. 1999
Yeghshatyan, Gevorg [Arturi], b. 2000
Shahbazyan, Kamo [Gevorgi], b. 1979 (reserve)
Asatryan, Vahagn [Felixi], b. 1977
Avetisyan, Levon [Armenaki], b. 1990
Nersisyan, Andranik [Manueli], b. 1990
Galeyan, Armen [Hayaseri], b. 1985
Avanyan, Gevorg [Sergei], b. 1989
Nersisyan, Martin [Seryozhayi], b. 1991 (reserve)
Kirakosyan, Aram [Hamleti], b. 1979
Hovhannisyan, Vazgen [Martiki], b. 1974 (reserve)
Nersesyan, Garik [Seryozhayi], b. 1978 (reserve)
Alaverdyan, Gurgen [Karoyi], b. 1995 (reserve)
Movsesyan, Vardan [Seryozhayi], b. 1983 (reserve)
Karapetyan, Nikolay [Armeni], b. 2000
Manukyan, Marat [Kareni], b. 2001
Sinanyan, Narek [Sergeyi], b. 1992
Asryan, Serob [Sarmeni], b. 1998
Live Press Briefing: Artsrun Hovhannisyan/Ministry of Defense and Zareh Sinanyan, High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs
10 p.m.: Artsrun Hovhannisyan of the Ministry of Defense said that from early morning, Azerbaijani Armed Forces resumed their offensive towards the north and south. In both of the directions they have persistently tried to attack with artillery and with very high density combat systems. Armenian Armed Forces successfully pushed them back causing them significant losses. Azerbaijan suffered huge human losses both today and yesterday. Hovhannisyan explained that the adversary has started using new military tactics with high density. The battles are continuing although the intensity of fighting decreases during night. During the day the Azerbaijani side was actively spreading information that a missile system, which was on combat duty in the territory of Armenia was targeted. Hovhannisyan stressed that Azerbaijan’s move legitimizes targeting of similar military objects by Armenian Forces in Azerbaijani territory. He reminded that today, Azerbaijani Forces also targeted a hospital and stressed that the entire world should pay attention to how Azerbaijan targets medical institutions (although it was not surprising for the Armenian side since it happened before).
Zareh Sinanyan, High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs
The High Commissioner said that starting from the very beginning of the Turkish-Azerbaijani terrorist aggression, there has been unprecedented mobilization in the Armenian Diaspora. Understanding the gravity of the moment for Armenia and realizing the difficulty of the situation, Armenians from all over the world launched various initiatives. As of today, about 700 tons of humanitarian aid has arrived to Armenia from different countries of the world including Russia, the U.S., France, countries in Europe, Ukraine, Javakheti, Tbilisi and this aid continues. There is about 100 tons of humanitarian aid expected to arrive from the U.S. but Turkey has prohibited the flight over its airspace and thus, for now, it is delayed. Humanitarian aid is arriving daily from Russia through land and air. Sinanyan said that they are thankful for this effort and that they are ensuring everything is being coordinated properly. He asked everyone to coordinate their efforts through the High Commissioner’s Office.
Regarding financial donations, Sinanyan said that this is being coordinated with the Armenia Fund and an unprecedented $120 million US has been raised. He noted that it is difficult to underestimate the importance of this aid since it is not clear how long the war would last and obviously you understand the type of damage was caused. The assistance is directly connected to the success of our efforts. Sinanyan said that many of the compatriots want to be in Armenia and help in this war. A number of doctors have arrived mainly from Russia, U.S., and Europe and the process is still ongoing. The arrival of the doctors is encouraged since the number of wounded is many times the number of those who died and need serious treatment. “Our doctors are heroically fighting for every Armenian health and life but their potential is limited, so the more assistance we receive the better,” added Sinanyan. I am happy that international health organizations such as Armenian Medical International Committee are actively involved in this process and organize the transfer groups to Armenia. He called on all those who have certain skills, who are already in Armenia or want to come to Armenia, coordinate it with the High Commissioner’s Office so that their skills are effectively utilized.
Sinanyan explained that the role of Armenians in the formation of public opinion in the Diaspora is highly important because today Turkey and Azerbaijan have distorted the entire media with false information, false representation of the reality in Artsakh and false history of the conflict. The efforts of the Diaspora which are very effective should be used as a countermeasure for this false propaganda. He also said that Turkish and Azerbaijani governments have hired lobbying firms which present the distorted version of the reality in different countries and governments. Armenian lobbying groups including different branches of Armenian National Committee (ANC) effectively counteract this. Armenians are also active in media platforms, which again according to Sinanyan is important because Azerbaijan and Turkey present a distorted version of the reality. “Everyone in the diaspora is working on this including bloggers, social media activists, celebrities,” he noted. These efforts need to continue so that it is possible to achieve the desired victory.
Protests and rallies are also important for raising awareness and are being organized everywhere from the U.S. to different European countries. There are also initiatives in a number of countries in different governmental bodies at the federal, local and state levels aimed at the recognition of Artsakh and condemning the aggression of Turkish-Azerbaijani terrorist groups by the international community. Sinanyan said that such efforts are valued and welcomed. He thanked everyone for their work and stressed that their support is very much needed. “Today, more than ever, it is clear that Armenia and the Diaspora, Armenians here and in the Diaspora are one and have one common interest and right now that interest is to protect and save Artsakh, and save our people from genocide. And undoubtedly, we will win together.”
ECHR Decision on Request by Turkish Authorities to Lift Interim Measure
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decision on Turkish authorities’ request to lift the interim measure indicated in the case of Armenia v. Turkey:
On October 6, 2020, the Court decided to apply Rule 39 of the Rules of Court for a second time in relation to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It called on all States directly or indirectly involved in the conflict, including Turkey, to refrain from actions that would contribute to breaches of the Convention rights of civilians and to respect their obligations under the Convention.
On October 7, 2020 the Government of Turkey requested that the Court reconsider its decision and lift the interim measure in so far as it was directed against Turkey.
The Court reiterates that the indication of an interim measure under Rule 39 is an urgent action in situations where it perceives an imminent risk of irreparable harm. The indication is of a provisional nature and does not prejudge any subsequent examinations as to the admissibility and merits of the case in question which would be made in adversarial proceedings.
The decision of October 6, 2020 was taken on the basis of the evidence then available which indicated that certain Contracting States were directly or indirectly involved in the conflict. It was not addressed solely to Turkey, but to all the States concerned.
Having examined the objections expressed by the Government of Turkey and again taking account of the serious and escalating nature of the conflict, the Court does not find any reason to amend its decision or to lift any part of the interim measure previously indicated.
French Parliament Set to Discuss Recognition of Artsakh
Francois Pupponi, a member of the French Parliament submitted a resolution co-signed by several other deputies to the French National Assembly for the recognition of Artsakh. He made the announcement on October 13, during a protest that over 7,000 French Armenians organized in front of the French Parliament demanding the recognition of Artsakh.
“In ten days or so I will be leading a delegation to Armenia to show France’s support and friendship,” said Pupponi. “Make no mistake: what is at stake in Artsakh is much more than the fate of a territory, it is the stability and religious diversity of an entire region. Let’s not let [Azerbaijani President Ilham] Aliyev and [Turkish leader Recep Tayyip] Erdogan continue what they started in 1915. Let’s not leave the Armenians alone against Azerbaijan and Turkey,” he added.
A l’appel du CCAF j’étais ce soir devant l’Assemblée Nationale avec des des milliers de manifestants et plusieurs de mes collègues parlementaires pour réclamer la reconnaissance de l’Artsakh et appeler la France à prendre ses responsabilites pour défendre nos frères arméniens.1/4 pic.twitter.com/iWGeWaJQpf— François Pupponi (@fpupponi) October 13, 2020
Armenia’s Security Council Holds Extraordinary Meeting
Armenia’s Security Council held an extraordinary meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today. The meeting was attended by President Armen Sarkissian, National Assembly Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan, and Chief of the Office of the Prime Minister Eduard Aghajanyan. Actions and further steps to counter the Azerbaijani-Turkish terrorist aggression were discussed during the meeting.
Statement by Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden
I am deeply concerned by the collapse of the October 10 ceasefire and the resumption of fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh. Drones, mortars and long-range artillery are claiming hundreds of lives on both sides of the Line of Contact and displacing thousands of civilians.
Inexplicably, the Trump Administration has been largely passive, and disengaged, throughout this recent period of escalation. Since the outbreak of hostilities on September 27, neither President Trump nor Secretary of State Pompeo has placed a single phone call to the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, even as the region goes up in flames. Rather than delegating the diplomacy to Moscow, the administration must get more involved, at the highest levels, by working with our European partners to de-escalate the fighting and return the two sides to negotiations.
The Trump Administration must tell Azerbaijan that it will not tolerate its efforts to impose a military solution to this conflict. It must make clear to Armenia that regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh cannot be occupied indefinitely and that credible negotiations on a lasting resolution of the conflict must commence immediately once a ceasefire is concluded. Finally, it must stop coddling Ankara and tell both Turkey and Iran to stay out of this conflict. Turkey’s provision of arms to Azerbaijan and bellicose rhetoric encouraging a military solution are irresponsible. A diplomatic resolution will not be easy to achieve, but the Trump Administration has an obligation to try. It should do so urgently before more lives are lost and the conflict expands.